Cramer & Anderson Municipal Law Partner Dan Casagrande recorded several notable outcomes and earned a prestigious new honor as part of a very successful 2022.
Befittingly, the year culminated with Attorney Casagrande being named to the 2022 Connecticut Super Lawyers list, an honor reserved for only 5 percent of attorneys in Connecticut. The 2022 list was published in a special section in the November issue of Connecticut Magazine.
Attorney Casagrande’s previous honors and awards include a 2019 Marvin J. Glink Private Practice Local Government Lawyer of the Year award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), and being named a finalist for the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Game Changers award in 2021.
In 2018, the Law Tribune named Attorney Casagrande its inaugural “Giant Slayer” among Connecticut counsel for his high-profile Municipal Law work on behalf of towns and cities, notably in tax appeal cases.
Among Attorney Casagrande’s notable outcomes in 2022 were the following:
Attorney Casagrande and Partner John Tower secured intervenor status on a Bethlehem wetlands application and then a favorable outcome for their client, an adjacent property owner.
The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency decision in July to deny an application submitted by Grillo Services, LLC for an organic composting facility and construction & demolition debris transfer station closely reflected the issues, concerns, and violations cited by experts retained by Cramer & Anderson.
According to the final decision, approved in a July 27 meeting, the wetlands agency found Grillo’s proposed activities “…are reasonably likely to have the effect of unreasonably polluting, impairing or destroying the public trust in the air, water or other natural resources of the state.”
Representing the Town of New Milford in conjunction with Partner and New Milford Town Attorney Randy DiBella, Attorney Casagrande achieved a settlement in the Town’s lawsuit challenging the Connecticut Siting Council’s 2017 approval of Candlewood Solar LLC’s development and management plans for a 20 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility on a sensitive Candlewood Mountain site.
Through the spring 2022 settlement, Attorney Casagrande was able to limit the scope of the project dramatically to a 4 MW facility—one-fifth of the size approved by the Siting Council and also much smaller than the revised scope proposed amid an ongoing regulatory review process.
In April, Attorney Casagrande scored a major Connecticut Supreme Court win for a client whose plans to open a crematorium in a Bethel business park were denied by the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
The unanimous April 1 decision reversed the Appellate Court and remanded the case to the trial court with the direction to sustain the plaintiffs’ appeal and order the land-use commission to approve the plaintiffs’ application for a special permit.
Last Feb. 8, Attorney Casagrande filed a Connecticut Supreme Court brief that represented the latest step in a major antitrust case he won in 2020.
That decision overturned a decades-old precedent that said tying agreements for real estate brokerage fees violated the Connecticut Antitrust Act. The state’s high court ruled that evolution of antitrust law through federal actions invalidated the Connecticut precedent established in a 1981 decision.
Attorney Casagrande represents Reserve Realty, LLC, which filed a breach of contract claim against Windemere Reserve LLC and BLT Reserve LLC in the summer of 2013.
At the center of the case are two large, then-vacant parcels that were formerly part of the Union Carbide corporate complex in western Danbury, called the Reserve.
After Attorney Casagrande established that tying agreements for real estate brokerage fees do not violate antitrust laws, Reserve Realty’s remaining claims were remanded to the Connecticut Appellate Court.
Attorney Casagrande’s high court brief filed in February addresses the result by arguing the Appellate Court erred in ruling that Reserve Realty and its principals are not entitled to market Reserve properties and leases, or to receive commissions.
“The overarching issue here remains the sanctity of contracts freely negotiated between sophisticated parties, which the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed in its 2020 decision in dispatching the antitrust claim concerning tying agreements,” Attorney Casagrande said.
About Cramer & Anderson
Cramer & Anderson provides sophisticated legal services, close to home, with regional offices in New Milford, Washington Depot, Kent, Litchfield, Danbury, and Ridgefield. For more information, see the firm’s website or call the flagship office in New Milford at (860) 355-2631.